July 28th, 2017
Where did we first hear that garbage about pro-lifers being inconsistent unless they fight not just abortion but also capital punishment, and how they must to be committed to “protecting the environment” as well ?
Was it from Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, who used to witter on about “the seamless garment” and “the consistent ethic of life”? It was a device progressive senior clerics adopted to avoid having to bar pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians like Edward Kennedy from Holy Communion.
Now this dodge has been given a new lease of life by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, presumably with the approval of Pope Francis. In an interview with the ultra-liberal Austen Ivereigh in the modernist periodical Crux, Paglia has criticised genuine pro-lifers as being “stuck in a fortress raising the flags of a few principles”. From now on, the Pontifical Academy for Life will “broaden its vision” and pursue a more diverse agenda, bearing in mind that in Genesis God gave Adam and Eve a mandate to care for his creation. “I can’t be pro-life if I pollute the atmosphere,” says Paglia.
Austen Ivereigh heartily approves of this change of emphasis, deploring the Academy’s previous “culture of ideological purity, even fanaticism, that was both unattractive and ineffective at influencing the wider world”. Does he really believe the wider world will now sit up and take notice? Isn’t it more likely that it will welcome what it will see as the Catholic Church’s more “nuanced” attitude to abortion?
The Academy recently broadened its membership to include two Jews, a Moslem, an Anglican and more than one non-believer. Paglia says they are all “lovers of life” even if they might not be on exactly the same page as the vast majority of the 50-odd members. Does this mean one can be pro-life without necessarily being totally opposed to abortion? I hope not, but it’s difficult to see what else he can possibly mean.